Thursday, April 19, 2012


CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER to the Huffington Post for its pioneering Pulitzer Prize, a recognition of excellence in online journalism, come of age. The Huff Post's Pulitzer was won the old-fashioned way: for national reporting in a 10-part series on returning war veterans. As for the POLITICO Pulitzer, awarded for editorial cartooning, congratulations to the talented artist, Matt Wuerker. Is it just me, or is there a certain perverse, amusing logic in that the first Pulitzer awarded to the publication of record of the laugh-a-minute Beltway Media and its cable "news" frontispiece, the IDIOT PUNDITOCRACY, should go to its outstanding political cartoonist?

This is not to denigrate political, or editorial, cartooning. It is a venerable ingredient of journalism, often carrying the entire organization, like its star franchise player, or the "straw that stirs the drink" at your favorite DC watering hole, if you will. Somehow, I've got to believe that Matt Wuerker has found himself the dream creative environment for producing "his consistently fresh, funny cartoons, especially memorable for lampooning the partisan conflict that engulfed Washington." If only he could lampoon his colleagues, too. Those cartoons must be stowed away in a secure vault for future publication once he is free of the John Harris gravitational pull. It's a small, insular, incestuous world, is the Beltway Media.

You can smile now, Maggie. It's okay. Really, it is. We know you're no idiot; a serious journalist through and through. If they ever award a Pulitzer for political punditry, you'll be at the top of my list for being earnestly funny in your unwavering quest for seriousness of purpose. Along with Jonathan Capehart, whose fussy sartorial elegance and honest "PostPartisan" blogging take the inside track for Zeitgeist irony, and chutzpah.

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